Journal History

 History of the Journal


Women, Gender, and Families of Color (WGFC) is a multidisciplinary journal from the University of Illinois Press that centers the study of black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian American women, genders, and families. Within this framework, the journal publishes theoretical and empirical research from the social and behavioral sciences and the humanities. It encompasses comparative and transnational research as well as analyses of domestic social, cultural, political, and economic policies and practices. To date, the journal has featured a variety of articles on the African diaspora, indigenous history and politics, migrant experiences, LGBTQIA of color civic life, Asian American families, single mothers, activists, and beyond. Guest-edited and special topics issues include black girlhood and kinship; race, gender, and disability; women, gender politics, and pan-Africanism; black love after E. Franklin Frazier; and critical essays from readers on the state of college campuses in Trump’s America.


WGFC was established in 2012 by Dr. Jennifer Hamer at the University of Kansas and was hosted by the American Studies Department. WGFC was an expansion of its predecessor Black Women, Gender, and Families (BWGF), which was established by Hamer in 2006 at the University of Illinois and published by the University of Illinois Press. BWGF was an editorial success. It featured the work of new and established scholars, was invited to Project MUSE in its third year, and received thousands of monthly online views and prestigious accolades. The late Rosalyn Terborg Penn’s article, “Migration, Trans-Racial/National Identity Re-Formation: Becoming African Diaspora Women” in the Fall 2011 issue of BWGF, for example, won the Association of Black Women Historians’ 2011-2012 Letitia Woods Brown Best Article Prize for its leading-edge work. Building on this success, Hamer expanded the focus of BWGF after six years and founded Women, Gender, and Families of Color as a more inclusive, intersectional platform that would broadly capture what it means to be a person of color in the United States and beyond.


Since its founding, WGFC has provided a necessary and welcoming forum for diverse topics and scholars. With the critical contributions of talented reviewers, editorial board members, and guest editors, the journal has highlighted the work of scholars writing from a variety of fields, methods, and perspectives. This vital research interrogates the hows and whys underlining social experiences, political systems, and modes of commemoration and resistance. The journal promotes cutting-edge work on populations otherwise marginalized in society and scholarship to demonstrate the breadth and depth of work needed to more fully understand and combat systemic inequities. The journal continues to be available in both hard copy and electronically through Project MUSE and JSTOR.


In 2019, Hamer accepted a position as the first Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development at Pennsylvania State University, and the journal welcomed Dr. Ayesha Hardison as its new lead Editor. In this transition, the journal is now hosted by the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department at the University of Kansas. Dr. Cécile Accilien also joined WGFC as the new Editorial Board Chair, and Hamer moved into the new role of Advisory Editor in this year.


Special Issues

Volume 2.2: “Race, Gender, and Disability,” guest edited by Liat Ben-Moshe and Sandra Magaña (2014)

Volume 4.2: “Women, Gender Politics, and Pan-Africanism,” guest edited by Keisha N. Blain, Asia Leeds, and Ula Y. Taylor (2016)

Volume 6.1: “Trump’s America? Disquiet Campus? Marginalized College Students, Faculty, and Staff Reflect on Learning, Working, Living, and Engaging” (2018)

Volume 7.1: “Black Girlhood and Kinship,” guest edited by Corinne Field and LaKisha Michelle Simmons (2019)

Volume 7.2: “Black Love after E. Franklin Frazier,” guest edited by Randal Maurice Jelks and Ayesha K. Hardison (2019)

Volume 8.2: "Crosstalk: Graduate Students of Color
Reflect on Lessons Lived and Learned in the Academy" (2020)

Volume 9.1 & 9.2: "The Unexpected Caribbean," guest edited by Cécile Accilien and Giselle Anatol

Lead Editors

2012-2019        Dr. Jennifer Hamer

2019-current     Dr. Ayesha Hardison


Editorial Board Chair

2019-current     Dr. Cécile Accilien


Advisory Editor

2019-current     Dr. Jennifer Hamer


Managing Editors

2012-2013     Bobbi Rhader

2013-2021     Kathryn Vaggalis


Host Departments

2012-2019          American Studies (University of Kansas)

2019-current     Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (University of Kansas)


Current Board Members

Giselle Anatol, University of Kansas

Juan Battle, Graduate Center, CUNY

Fred Bonner, Prairie View A&M University

Sarah Deer, University of Kansas

Manisha Desai, University of Connecticut

Adrienne Dixson, University of Illinois

Stephanie Fitzgerald, Arizona State University

Luz-Maria Gordillo, Washington State University Vancouver

Sharon Harley, University of Maryland

Idethia Shevon Harvey, University of Connecticut

Hayward D. Horton, University at Albany, SUNY

Dongbin Kim, Michigan State University

Carmen Lugo-Lugo, Washington State University

Venetria Patton, Purdue University

Armon Perry, University of Louisville

Brenda Stevenson, University of California, Los Angeles

Lynet Uttal, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Psyche Williams-Forson, University of Maryland

Francille Wilson, University of Southern California

Assata Zerai, University of New Mexico

Xiaojian Zhao, University of California, Santa Barbara


Past Board Members

Nicola Alexander, University of Minnesota, 2014-2019

Nikol Alexander-Floyd, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, 2012-2019

Pamela Braboy Jackson, Indiana University Bloomington, 2014-2019

Sarah Chinn, Hunter College, 2012-2019

Tanya Golash-Boza, University of California-Merced, 2012-2019

Deena Gonzalez, Loyola Marymount University, 2012-2019

Shirley Hill, University of Kansas, 2012-2019

Darlene Clark Hine, Northwestern University, 2012-2019

Yuri Jang, University of Texas-Austin, 2014-2019

Robin Jarrett, University of Illinois, 2012-2019

Tammy Kernodle, University of Miami of Ohio, 2012-2019

Chana Kai Lee, University of Georgia, 2012-2019

Tsianina K. Lomawaima, 2012-2019

Jacqueline Macleod, Metropolitan State College of Denver, 2012-2019

Sandra Magaña, University of Wisconsin, 2012-2019

Sylvia Martinez, Indiana University Bloomington, 2014-2019

Velma McBride, Vanderbilt University, 2012-2019

Yolanda Padilla, University of Texas, 2014-2019

Esther Rothblum, San Diego State University, 2012-2019

Patti Sakurai, Oregon State University, 2014-2019

Earl Smith, Wake Forest University, 2012-2014

Emilie Phillips Smith, Pennsylvania State University, 2012-2019